One’s company, two’s a crowd
One unexpected result of her success is that her family has stopped pressuring her to get married. “Now they can say: your daughter is married, but mine has a book,” she joked.
Li Jie, a 32-year-old engineer who has lived alone in Shanghai for four years, is a huge fan.
“Her videos are great. There are more and more single women like me and it’s nice to enjoy some food in peace by oneself,” she said.
Li hails from Anhui province, 600 kilometers from Shanghai. Her parents found work in other cities after they were laid off during the reform of State-owned companies in the 1990s, and Li was left with her grandparents.
She added that’s why she has never found dining out alone awkward. “I have been alone from a very young age.”
Cai held a picnic-themed exhibition last month. She set up tents and invited people to relax and enjoy free food, drink and cooking tips. She said she was overwhelmed by the response.
Her videos are not exclusively for singles, but also for those who sometimes just appreciate their own company.
Take episode 17, for example, in which a married man demonstrates how to make clay pot rice. In his case, the guy just likes making breakfast for himself in the early morning, while his wife prefers to sleep.
“In the end, we all have to eat alone at some point,” said Cai. “It sounds a bit sad, but even when you’re alone you should treat yourself to a good meal now and then.”